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Royal London buys Cambridge Research Park for £78m

By Paul Norman - Wednesday, June 13, 2018 8:52

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Royal London Asset Management, acting for The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society, has bought Cambridge Research Park from Rockspring Property Investment Managers, on behalf of UK Value 2 LP, for £78m.

Rockspring originally bought the 112 acre site, in partnership with asset manager XLB Property, in 2014 for £21m, with 80,000 sq ft of net lettable space.

Rockspring said that since then the partners had undertaken a construction and asset management programme, including the development of an additional 80,000 sq ft of office/laboratory/mid tech space across three buildings, together with 76,000 sq ft of industrial across a nine unit scheme called Enterprise 5000, which completed in May 2018. Two of the industrial units are under offer, Rockspring confirmed.

Rockspring said the asset managment has led to a circa 45% increase in the park’s rental tone.

The transaction includes 13.5 acres of consented development land.

Kim Sardar, Director at Rockspring, said: "This has been a tremendously exciting project for us and a huge amount of work has gone into ensuring that this site successfully delivers on its significant potential. Having received an approach from Royal London, with the majority of the construction completed and a tangible improvement in the Park’s income profile having been achieved, we believe that now is the right time to crystallise the value we have created on behalf of our investors, and to hand over to an institutional buyer to take it forward over the longer term."

Royal London said the acquisition reflected its focus on "larger assets in core locations where significant growth is forecast". It already owns Vision Park in Cambridge.

UK Value 2 is the second fund in Rockspring’s UK-only closed-ended real estate strategy with a core plus risk profile. The Fund, which held a final close in February 2015, secured a total of £342m of equity from 11 investors and will have a duration of circa seven years.

Bidwells acted for Rockspring and XLB Property, while Royal London was represented by Savills.


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